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BMW Group South Africa recently handed over the first of 20 BMW X3s destined for schools, universities and science centres across South Africa.

A further 19 BMW X3s will be donated to educational establishments across South Africa with a focus on technology and engineering.

On Tuesday, BMW Group South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa CEO Tim Abbott handed over the first car to Soshanguve Technical High School. The school has recently been upgraded to a School of Specialisation by the Gauteng Department of Education with a focus on automotive engineering.

The handover illustrates BMW Group SA’s continued commitment to education and to the community in Soshanguve, where so many Associates who work at BMW Group Plant Rosslyn live.

Education at the heart of BMW Group SA’s commitment to South Africa

Education, training and skills development are at the heart of BMW Group’s activities in South Africa. Last year the company opened a R73m Training Academy at Plant Rosslyn. At the Midrand head office, a brand-new R109m Dealer Training Centre has been opened.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Early Learning Centre at Plant Rosslyn, and the company’s commitment to schools continues with the upgrade of facilities at Ntsha-Peu Primary School in Soshanguve, one of 144 schools the company has supported over the years.

Pre-series vehicles saved for education purposes

“When in the company recently took the decision to invest R6.1bn into Plant Rosslyn to upgrade it for production of the new BMW X3, we saw an opportunity to deepen our commitment to education even further,” Mr Abbott said on Tuesday.

“Our plant has the capacity to produce 76000 cars a year, and the first cars that roll off the line are known as ‘pre-series cars’. They’re not for sale and really only exist to test the line and its systems before series production begins. In a normal ramp-up scenario, these cars are usually scrapped.”

“But we had a different idea. Instead of scrapping the cars, couldn’t we bring them up to series production standard and then donate them to engineering and technology educations establishments? Well – we could, and we did!” Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott added that the company “will support these educational institutions with training material, equipment and people, as is required”.